By Shana Kuhn-Siegel, August, 2018
It’s been hard for me to write this focus. I’m not sure why. It’s been hard to find the focus. Most times when I sit down to write blogs, which I do often, I ask for inspiration. What am I meant to communicate today? What is the message that wants to come through me? Somehow this experience has been more challenging.
I feel that I’m up against something, a huge breakthrough, and in large part it’s come through writing. I’m working on a book about an adventure I took ten years ago when I met my spiritual mentor. I met him in California and, only months before I remember being in the Hamptons. I was part of a meditation group and there was an Ayurvedic healer who was visiting and he was giving readings, so I scheduled one. He told me that if ever there was reason for me to go to California, I should without hesitation. I did, not remembering his message until later when all the pieces started coming together.
Maybe the challenge of writing this focus is a puzzle that I haven’t yet solved, the pieces not yet coming together. In the days I’ve sat down to write, I’ve explored a great many ideas, some I’ve followed and scrapped. Others never made it to the page. I’ve thought about my relationship to the Hamptons and how I came here as a child visiting my grandparents and had such an idyllic view of the place. And then, how the Hamptons became this completely different place, when I later moved here in my twenties to live with my grandmother who was dying of cancer, and embarked on a journey that would lead me to start teaching yoga, taking the first-ever teacher training program at Yoga Shanti. I’ve thought how different the Hamptons feel this year. Maybe I feel that way every year. I’ve thought about listening and how I’ve been trained to follow the clues that are being presented. I’ve thought about pushing. About how, when the words aren’t coming to the page, all I can do is wait and be ready for when they do. Or keep writing even if I scrap what comes over and over and over again until it finally flows and fits together.
I had a surfing lesson scheduled today. It was honestly the only thing I was really looking forward to doing all weekend. I so desperately wanted to get on that board and be in the ocean—my happy place. I drove to the beach to meet my instructor and not only were there no parking spots, but there was a line that spilled out of the lot that they expected you’d have to wait in for at least a half hour to secure a spot. I pulled up into the queue, but it wasn’t feeling right, so I left. It wasn’t lining up and I couldn’t even communicate with my surf teacher because he has no reception on the beach. I made one more attempt to park at a beach nearby, but that didn’t work either. So, I surrendered.
I made it back home to the house where I’m staying, at my great uncle’s, on Big Fresh Pond in Southampton, where I practically learned to swim. The minute I pulled into his sandy driveway and saw the water through the trees, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. I was frustrated that the one thing I had been looking forward to hadn’t worked out, but I trusted that this was the experience I was meant to have. It wasn’t time.
It felt like the process of writing. Waiting for the idea. Waiting for the story.
I thought back to being on the mat yesterday. How I’ve really been working on listening more and watching when I just want to get somewhere else. What’s the next thing? How can I do that seemingly impossible pose, right now? Instead of allowing for the process. Just like the process of writing this focus—imperfect and human.
I’m not sure that all the pieces have come together. This puzzle might be one that takes the rest of August, or farther still, but it’s a journey I’m committed to. My mentor calls it following the magical thread. It’s not the easiest path to walk, but it’s a lot more graceful than bulldozing my way to a result, or an outcome leaving a wake of unpleasant consequences behind me.
So here’s to allowing the puzzle pieces to come together no matter what we have to go through in the process.